Logic Puzzles

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Name of Teacher: Samantha Schipper

Class/Grade/Language Level: Can be adjusted to suit any level

Goal: Practice deep reading

Preparation: many logic puzzles

Class time: 50 minute lesson (but can be easily shortened)


The goal of this class is to have students practice reading while thinking carefully about the meaning of what they are reading. There's also the fun elements of competition and problem solving.

Have students get into pairs so that discussion can happen. Each pair is given a worksheet with the first problem. Once the pair solve the first problem, they bring their answer to the front of the class and have it checked by the ALT or JTE. Once they get the right answer, they can take the next problem. You can have a prize for any pair that can solve all of the problems before the end of class. Give the students the problems that you think are important for everyone to solve at the beginning, and make sure everyone solves them. Offer some help after a while if anyone is really struggling behind the rest of the class. It is also sometimes good to do an easy example of how to solve a problem with the whole class before you begin.

You can use any logic problems you want. I used:

  • a problem where students are given several clues and they have to work out the names and ages or jobs of the people pictured.
  • a problem where students read a short passage and then colour in the hats of the different monkeys appropriately in a picture (the idea and passage are from Ushiro Yuuji-sensei's book "英語で英語を読む授業").
  • Word problems. I used:
1 Mary's mum has four children.
The first child is called April.
The second May.
2 A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, 'I can't operate on this boy - for he is my son!!!' How can this possibly be?